Traditional Strawberry Shortcake

Tra­di­tional straw­berry short­cake is a great exam­ple of the evo­lu­tion of my taste­buds. Or maybe, more accu­rately, my buds actu­ally had to devolve to appre­ci­ate the beau­ti­ful sim­plic­ity of this dish. The antithe­sis of this dessert is the straw­berry short­cake that I was accus­tomed to eat­ing while grow­ing up.

Pic­ture an over-processed, upside-down, semi-dish shaped, chewy sponge cake. Now add some straw­ber­ries that have been drenched in a hor­ri­bly sweet, came from a box  con­coc­tion of thick, jelly-ish red goo. Next we open a con­tainer of non-dairy whipped top­ping and plop it squarely on the straw­berry goop.



But I loved it!

And so did every other per­son I knew.

Oh, mis­in­formed masses!

Well, as I have out-grown my tongues child­ish pro­cliv­ity for the super-sweet, my buds are revert­ing back to a form that can rec­og­nize the full worth of a dish that is sim­ple and ele­men­tal in its construction.

A scone. Fresh berries. Whipped cream.

That’s it. And it really can’t get bet­ter than this.

Traditional Strawberry Shortcake

Tra­di­tional Straw­berry Shortcake


  • Scone
  • 5 1/2 cups all pur­pose flour
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 3 Table­spoons bak­ing pow­der (make sure it is fresh)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter–chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream,
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • ingre­di­ents for assem­bly and gar­nish
  • 3/4 cup addi­tional heavy cream for tops
  • 1 1/4 cup addi­tional sugar for tops
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 4 cups whip­ping cream
  • 4 pounds straw­ber­ries, de-stemmed and quartered
  • can­died orange peel for garnish


  1. Pre­heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food proces­sor, pulse the 1 1/4 cup of gran­u­lated sugar with the zest from one orange. Set aside for the tops of the scones, reserv­ing 1/2 cup for the whip­ping cream.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, bak­ing pow­der and sugar.
  4. Toss in the chilled cubes of but­ter and cut into the flour mix­ture until the con­sis­tency of coarse meal.
  5. Add the cream and but­ter­milk and gen­tly mix together until mix­ture comes together. Don’t over mix. The dough will be slightly sticky.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured table or pas­try cloth. Gather together, and shape into a 9 inch square about 1 1/2–2 inches thick.
  7. Cut into 9 equal squares with a very sharp knife.
  8. Dip or brush the tops of the scones with the addi­tional 3/4 cup of heavy cream. Make sure you get good coverage.
  9. Sprin­kle the orange zest infused sugar over the tops of the scones. Give them a nice coat­ing, but make sure all the sugar gets soaked into the cream. You don’t want any loose sugar on the tops. Add a lit­tle more cream if needed.
  10. Place scones on a sil­pat or parch­ment lined bak­ing sheet and bake for 25–30 min­utes, until tops are light golden brown. Remove and let cool com­pletely on a rack.
  11. This recipe gives you 5 nice, fin­ished straw­berry short­cakes, con­sid­er­ing that the 4 cor­ner scones might not be as big as you might like. If you like the size of the cor­ners, by all means use them, you can prob­a­bly stretch the amounts of straw­ber­ries and cream.
  12. Whip the 4 cups of cream until medium soft peaks form. Adding the reserved 1/2 cup of orange zest infused sugar at the end.
  13. Assem­ble by cut­ting each scone in half through the mid­dle, and lay­er­ing whipped cream, then straw­ber­ries, then whipped cream, and plac­ing the top half of the scone on top. Gar­nish with addi­tional whipped cream, whole straw­berry with stem, and can­died orange peel.

Traditional Strawberry Shortcake

Related posts:

One Comment

  1. Sigh …

Leave a Reply